Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lefty Loosey - Righty Tighty!

Sunday was spent dismantling the bikes and trailers.
Front wheels came off followed by the seat and bottle cages, the handlebars and pedals.
What a performance we had with the pedals!!!! They were bolted on so tightly that Del just couldn't budge them. Eventually, in frustration, he rang the Bike Barn for advice. Lefty Loosey - Righty Tighty came the reply. Of course it was! He'd done it so many times before. He'd just have to use brute force! So, using a spanner, a hammer and heaps of determination, he eventually got the right foot pedals off both bikes. Still the left ones just wouldn't budge. They just had to come off  so, to complete the job, he headed off to the Bike Barn to have them removed professionally. Eventually, thank heaven, all the pedals were off and both bikes were tightly packed into their boxes. Here's hoping we won't have this to contend with at the end of our ride!

Friday, May 29, 2015


Today we hitched the fully loaded trailers to the bikes and did a short training run around Orewa. Apart from feeling more drag when starting or going uphill, everything was fine. I was a little wobbly when making hand signals, but that will improve as I get used to the load.
Del's amazing! Heavy load - hills - no problem!
Each trailer has a single wheel, a metal "basket" containing a big, heavy duty plastic bag and two "arms" - works like a reverse wheelbarrow. The "arms" are attached to a special axle fixed through the rear wheel and locked into place.
The trailer follows the exact route of the bike but doesn't like tight turns for obvious reasons!
Today was our final training run before we leave. Darn it! More pedalling on the indoor bike!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Five Days to Go!

 We decided today that we'd do a trial trailer pack. So much stuff and so little place to put it! Del carries the heavy items - the tent, tools, spare parts and then anything that won't fit into my trailer. I take the lighter but bulky stuff - sleeping bags, mattresses, pillows, clothes etc. To cut a long story short, by the time we'd finished, both our trailers were chocka!
We'll have to compact things down a little more as, once we're on the road, we'll need to carry emergency food and water supplies, too.  
We've been getting used to towing the trailers on our training runs over the last couple of weeks, adding a little more weight each time. Tomorrow, on our last training  run before we leave, we'll tow them fully packed. 
Much as I'm averse to training on the indoor bike (going nowhere and no cappuccino at the end of the ride), we'll have to do some time on it daily, from tomorrow until we leave, to keep up our fitness.
Give me the open road any day!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We're Off Again!!

The minute we arrived home from our last trip in June 2014, Del was hungry for another cycle challenge.
He already had his eye on Adelaide to Darwin.
Now let it be clear. I don't do challenges. I just go along for the ride and I had a much more aesthetic plan in mind. After research, I presented him with a wonderful, romantic cycling holiday along the Danube.
It didn't get a look in! So Adelaide to Darwin it is!
After Christmas we began preparations.
Del plotted a route and I Googled stopovers along the way - caravan parks, motels, rest areas - food stores and water supplies etc. It soon became clear that this would be our most challenging ride yet.
First we had to make sure that our bikes were well equipped for the trip. A new set of Marathon Plus tyres were bought for each bike (imported from England at a fraction of the price in NZ), sets of front and rear lights with battery packs (for early morning starts) and an spare rear axle (for attaching the trailer) in case of breakage. Then both bikes were thoroughly serviced at the Bike Barn, Takapuna.
Del checked his own bike repair kit, too - spare bike tyre and trailer tyre, inner tubes, spare spokes, puncture repair kit and assorted tools for dismantling and reassembling the bikes etc. As before we'll bring our foot pump. It's big but does the job quickly.
We fly out on Wednesday June 3 and have booked a 4 day stay at Scottys Motel in Menindie, just north of Adelaide City Centre and right on the Main Road North - perfect for a smooth getaway.
Just 7 days to go - can hardly believe it!